Bah, Humbug

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In a few hours, I’ll be running off to do the Christmas thing with relatives.

Unfortunately, the next couple days will have me acting like one of Santa’s elves: an elf on Santa’s bad side.

What will I be doing? Mostly, I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing with other people’s computers the last year or so, cleaning out spyware and the like.

That’s not very magical, edifying, or religious. It’s the geek equivalent of cleaning out septic tanks Christmas Day.

I bet more than a few of you are (or will be) in the same boat. All thanks to those wonderful people who make and deploy spyware.

But let’s not be self-centered. Those cleaning up aren’t the sole or even major victims of this. It’s your patients who are.

Yes, some half-ask for it, but many more only technically do so. But blaming these victims for spyware is like blaming burglary victims for the burglary because they didn’t have enough locks on their doors. If there’s no burglar, there cannot be a burglary.

Of course, those who do this will give a million-and-one reasons for why their pursuits are noble and honorable. Low-lifes always do.

The one that gets me are those who end their justifications by calling this good “marketing.” Like the word “marketing” is some magic word, some secular Sacred Blood of Jesus that justifies all and wipes away all sin.

Well, if I were a condom salesman, and I decided to improve my marketing by barging into your house and demonstrating my wares on your wife, I suppose you could call that “marketing,” too, but a few other things, too. Like trespass, assault, and rape, and claiming that you were “marketing” won’t be a Get Out of Jail free card.

Morally if not legally, is spyware really much different than that?

You get spyware from people whose only moral standard is themselves. Inevitably, such people equate what is good for them with what is good, and to hell with everyone else.

This is not the attitude of the story of the Christ Child, rather the opposite. Come to think of it, He was on a clean-up mission, too.

I’m sorry, but while it may be legal, it is nonetheless low. It’s sleazy, and no expensive suit or Rolex can change that.

For these folks, I have but one wish this holiday season. Repent, or let the Golden Rule apply, and may others do unto you what you have done unto them.




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